U.S., Afghan Troops Kill 13 Taliban Militants

U.S. and Afghan troops backed by American warplanes fought Taliban (search) militants in the mountains of southern Afghanistan, killing 13 insurgents and arresting eight, an Afghan official said Thursday.

Two U.S. troops and one Afghan soldier were wounded in the fighting in Miana Shien district of Kandahar (search) province, 150 miles southwest of Kabul, said Khalid Pashtun, spokesman for the provincial government.

U.S. military officials in Kabul could not immediately be reached for comment.

Pashtun said some 300 Afghan troops and a smaller number of Americans launched the operation late Wednesday, skirmishing repeatedly with gunmen in the mountains of an area called Purlaiz.

He said Afghan authorities had recovered the bodies of 13 suspected Taliban killed in the fighting, and arrested eight others who were wounded.

"We seized their Kalashnikovs and the ammunition they were carrying," Pashtun said. "We're still trying to identify them."

The clash appeared to be one of the most deadly since the U.S. military stepped up operations in the spring to combat resurgent Taliban militants.

Earlier this week, U.S. special forces killed several militants in neighboring Zabul province. Four American special forces were killed last Saturday in the same province when a mine exploded under their Humvee.